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Published On: Mon, Sep 14th, 2015

Rotary Club, commences N550m hospital building …urges Nigerians to donate their eyes

Indian

Rotarian N.G. Patel (MFR) of Rotary Club of Palmgrove Estate, during the foundation laying of the Rotary Eye Hospital at Airport Road, Lagos, Beside him is the immediate past President of the Club, Rotarian Ramesh Biswal and Mr. Shailesh Tanna

 

Rume Oyitso | 

In less than two years from now, scores of visually challenged Nigerians will soon abandon their white canes and walk without any aid. This is not just going to be a miracle of some sort but through real professional medical practice in eye surgery. The interesting thing is, they won’t have to pay a dime for it. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Palmgrove Estate which has laid the foundation stone of an eye hospital at Airport Road, Lagos, in an bid to rescue Nigerians from preventable blindness.

This charity initiative is afforded by the Club, through the corroborative efforts of the Indian Community in Nigeria and the Lagos State Government. Speaking with Hallmark Newspaper, Rotarian N.G. Patel (MFR) stated that by establishing the eye hospital in Lagos, billions of Naira would be saved by Nigerians who usually travel abroad for eye-related sickness or diseases and treatment.

“Today, the dream of having an eye hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, has finally become a reality, it is a dream come true for us to save Nigerians from spending billions of Naira in traveling abroad for eye-related problems”. He said.

The Hospital, with facility for over 250 patients at a time, is established to rescue people from preventable blindness. Little children who are prone to eye problems due to malnutrition would benefit immensely at its completion, the Club has said.

N.G. Patel (MFR) said the initiative had undergone a gestation period from 2005 till date and it was time to put concrete structures in the country to fully commit to alleviating the plight of the blind.  Over the past years, the Club together with its sponsors invites doctors from India every year to carry out free eye screening and surgeries on those who are not able to afford the bills given by hospitals.  Over 9000 operations were successfully done but there was need to raise the capacity, having noticed the staggering demand. “It all started in 2005. We bring doctors from India every year to do eye operations on Nigerians. We have done over 9000 operations so far. But now, we have noticed that the need is too much so the best way to solve this problem is that we have decided to set up this eye care hospital to help the needy and less privileged Nigerians for free. They are not going to spend anything. Instead of spending N100, 000 to N500, 000 on hospital bills, they should rather use that money to feed themselves,” said the Rotarian.

When completed, the eye hospital will gulp an estimated huge sum of N550 million, Patel disclosed. But money is not a challenge, when considering giving back to the society. The Rotarian has said over the years the Club has received support from the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Oba of Lagos and other individuals who have showed interest in actualizing the project.

Rotarian Patel (MFR) who said the world class hospital will comprise of eye operation theatre and eye bank appealed to Nigerians to donate their eyes for the needy to save Nigerians from the dilemma. “What poses a real threat to this goodwill initiative is the lack of eye donors in the country,” He explained.  The septuagenarian urged Nigerians to donate their eyes before passing away to make this project a reality.

Reacting to how people can donate their eyes to save preventable blindness, he stated that “People who are involved in accident and are sure they would not recover from such accident or any sickness, can willingly donate their eyes, which would be kept in our eyes bank for those that would be in need”. “Such donations are always at a point of death”, he explained.  “And when the individual has passed away, a family member can see to it that the eyes are removed within six hours and donated for use so it can be useful to others who are still alive. I have willingly donated my eyes. Many of us here have done same” he said.

 

 

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